Which sidesword for Dardi work?

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Which sidesword for Dardi work?

Postby Nikos » 02 Jul 2008 10:53

I have and owned and do own sideswords that I train with personally, but do not currently teach it, but its something I really want to incorporate into our training sessions, so really I am trying to nail down a weapon to use for it, steel that is.

I have found that with the number and variety of people we get in, most would not be wlling to spend over £100 for a sword, not for some time anyway, so its really a case of weighing up the options and comparing it to what we think should be used for sidesword training. The only two training weapons I know of that fit into this category are the two hanwei sideswords.

The sharp - well, it isn't sharp from what I have seen, its got thin edges, much like a del tin or armourclass pseudo sharp, so they might need a little bit of taking down, and the tip taken off, and then will be good. They look really nice, a little over budget but not terrible, only downside, blade is only 31"

Practical - Looks quite decent, apart from the really ugly blade, has a 36" blade, does occasionally suffer from a weak tang, and the bars of the guard aren't that strong, weaker than a hanwei rapier for example. The blade is also much heavier than I would like, though is obviously nice and long, upside is they come in under the £100 bracket.

So really it comes down to what do we think should be used, should they be shorter or longer blades, or does it really not matter that much? Personally I am inclined to use the sharp, at only a little more cost you get a much nicer looking and much better handling sword, and the shorter blade in many ways will seperate it nicely from the rapiers.

I haven't owned either of these, but have owned a Del Tin almost identical to the sharp, and a Darkwood as long, though lighter than the practical, my opinion is that either can be used perfectly well, and therefore go with the sword which is the best. I am of course open to suggesstions, but sideswords are not something which are commonly available, and the ones that are tend to be fairly expensive, thoughts?
Nick Thomas - Instructor
Academy of Historical Fencing

"When a man is challenged to the field, he is to answer by weapons and not words" Saviolo, 1595.
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